Working with Other Agencies
Under the Children Act 1989, the police service, working with other agencies such as local authority children’s social care services, health services and education services, is responsible for making enquiries to safeguard and secure the welfare of any child within their area who is suffering (or is likely to suffer) significant harm.
The police are duty-bound to refer to the local authority those children in need whom they find in the course of their work.
Their role includes:
- the identification of children who might be at risk from abuse and neglect;
- the investigation of alleged offences against children;
- their work with other agencies, particularly the requirement to share information that is relevant to child protection issues; and
- the exercise of emergency powers to protect children.
Operation Encompass was set up to provide early reporting to schools etc., about any domestic abuse incidents that occur outside of school hours to which a young person attending our school has been exposed, and which might then have an impact on them attending school the following day. Information will only be shared with the school by the police where it is identified that a young person was present, witnessed or was involved in a domestic abuse incident.
For more information, visit the Operation Encompass website.
Social Workers have a central role within the local authorities with a duty to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of all children in need in their area, and, insofar as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of children by their families by providing a range and level of services appropriate to children’s wellbeing needs.
The Local Authority has a duty to make enquiries under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 if they “have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm”. This investigation is carried out by a social worker.
School can discuss concerns with duty social workers in the Children’s Hub for further advice and support.
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
If there are allegations against a member of staff, these must be reported immediately to the Headteacher. Where necessary, the LADO must be contacted within one working day in respect of all cases in which it is alleged that a person who works with children has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed a child;
- possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child; or
- behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
The LADO is responsible for:
- Providing advice, information and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations around allegations and concerns regarding paid and unpaid workers.
- Managing and overseeing individual cases from all partner agencies.
- Ensuring the child’s voice is heard and that they are safeguarded.
- Ensuring there is a consistent, fair and thorough process for all adults working with children and young people against whom an allegation is made.
- Monitoring the progress of cases to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible.
- Recommending a referral and chairing the strategy meeting in cases where the allegation requires investigation by police and/or social care.